Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah told the National Assembly on Monday that national institutions had to be strengthened to protect the independence and sovereignty of the country.
He said the previous parliament played a vital role to promote democracy in the country and restored the 1973 constitution.
Shah said it was for the first time that an elected president addressed the sovereign parliament for the sixth time and the PPP government strengthened the federation by giving autonomy to the provinces.
The PPP leader said his party would support the government at every level to curb terrorism in the country, adding that courageous steps were required to eradicate terrorism.
He said he wished the present government completed its tenure, however‚ “it should work hard for the welfare of the people”.
Dr Shireen Mazari of the PTI said, “We have to strengthen parliament to strengthen democracy in the country.”
She demanded the government come out with a clear cut anti-terrorism policy and form a dedicated institution to curb terrorism. She said economic progress was impossible until the elimination of terrorism.
Taking part in the debate‚ Syed Asif Hasnain stressed the need for adopting policies that helped resolve the problems of the people. He said the quota system of jobs created differences in the society and should be ended forthwith.
Maulana Ameer Zaman said the constitution demanded an Islamic system enforced in the country. He pleaded for elimination of interest-based system.
The lawmaker also demanded provision of gas to Loralai and other areas of Balochistan, besides employment to Baloch youth.
Abdul Rahim Mandokhel said dictatorial regimes were responsible for the difficulties being faced by the people and the country.
He said democracy was the only way to resolve problems.
He praised President Asif Zardari and the previous government for restoring the 1973 constitution to its original shape.
Aisha Syed said the previous government gave corruption‚ unemployment and price-hike to the nation and put the country under huge internal and external debts.
To a query by the deputy speaker about the walkout of journalists from the Press Gallery‚ Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Birjees Tahir said it was because the Balochistan government registered cases of terrorism against a private TV channel and its senior reporters.
He told the House that the journalists had been assured that the federal government would talk to the Balochistan government over the issue.
The House would meet again at 10:30am today (Tuesday).